First Pitch: Why it Doesn’t Matter That Pedro Alvarez Isn’t at Mini Camp

There’s something about mini camp that makes the entire event overblown. Maybe it’s due to the fact that the event is held in the middle of the off-season, during the time period where there is very little baseball news, putting a huge spotlight on the events. Maybe it’s because this is one of the few moments in the off-season where you hear from a lot of players, and hear about their progress.

Here is the truth about mini camp: it’s overrated.

As a member of the media, I love it. It’s the only event of the off-season that puts 70+ players in a locker room, providing stories during the time of the off-season that is hardest to generate content. None of these stories are really news updates. You’ll have something like Charlie Morton throwing his first bullpen, but the bulk of the other stories are just player features, and they’re not much different than the ones you’ll read during the opening week of Spring Training.

That’s not to say there isn’t good information to be found in mini camp. But positions aren’t won and lost here. Players are hardly getting ready for the upcoming season at this point. About 95% of the pitchers I talked to won’t even start throwing bullpen sessions until next week.

Here is what happens at mini camp. Players arrive at some point before 9 A.M. The batting cages open at that time, but a lot of the players are just sitting around the locker room talking. Around 9:30 they start warm-ups, followed by throwing programs where the pitchers long toss up to whatever distance they’re at during this point in the off-season. After that there are some drills and batting practice sessions, although not as in-depth as the batting practice you see before a game, which includes base running and fielding at the same time. And then they pack it up after about an hour to an hour and a half of work.

There’s nothing significant going on here. If you think about it rationally, outside of the scope of “This is the slow part of the off-season, and this is the only thing going on, so let’s elevate this higher than it should be,” then you see that this isn’t really a big event. You can kind of tell that by the attendance. Take a look at the projected starting lineup.

C – Francisco Cervelli (Not in attendance)

1B – Pedro Alvarez (Not in attendance)

2B – Neil Walker (Not in attendance)

SS – Jordy Mercer (In attendance)

3B – Josh Harrison (Not in attendance)

LF – Starling Marte (Not in attendance)

CF – Andrew McCutchen (Not in attendance)

RF – Gregory Polanco (Not in attendance)

One player out of the eight projected starters was in attendance. Then there’s the projected bench, minus Jung Ho Kang, who hasn’t officially signed yet.

Corey Hart (Not in attendance)

Sean Rodriguez (Not in attendance)

Travis Snider (Not in attendance)

Chris Stewart (Not in attendance)

You might think that Cervelli and Stewart should be here to get an early start with their pitching staff. But then there’s a look at that pitching staff…

Francisco Liriano (Not in attendance)

Gerrit Cole (Not in attendance)

A.J. Burnett (Not in attendance)

Charlie Morton (In attendance, although he lives here)

Vance Worley (In attendance)

Jeff Locke (Not in attendance, although his locker is full, showing he has been here at some point this off-season)

The only starters here are the guys who live here, or the two guys fighting for the final rotation spot. The only significant turnout was from the bullpen, where Jared Hughes, Tony Watson, John Holdzkom, Stolmy Pimentel, and Radhames Liz were here. No Mark Melancon. No Antonio Bastardo. And Watson was only here for two days.

From a business perspective, I love mini camp. After four days of interviews, I’ve got content to fill the next five weeks, leading up to the start of Spring Training. But as for the importance? There is hardly any.

It seems the biggest storyline this week was about Pedro Alvarez’s absence. His absence makes a good headline, but it’s not a story. It sounds like a bad thing to anyone who doesn’t know how little goes on at mini camp, but the reality is that Alvarez could get the exact same work in anywhere in the country that he would have gotten here.

Now there is the issue of learning first base. But let’s be honest about that.: If Alvarez doesn’t learn first base, it’s not going to be due to the fact that he skipped four short workouts in early January. And let’s be honest about something else: No one really cares about him learning first base. Yes, he needs to field the position and not be a disaster. However, the Pirates threw him in there in the middle of a pennant race with much less experience than he will have going into the 2015 season. That experiment only lasted a few days, but it was done for one reason — to get his bat in the lineup.

If Alvarez is hitting homers again, then it won’t matter if he isn’t a Gold Glove first baseman. And if he’s not hitting homers, then all the extra work in the world on his defense won’t avoid the criticism he will receive.

The main thing mini camp provides is the first updates heading into the season. You get to hear about how the off-season went for most players. In some cases, you get to hear about what they have been working on or what they plan to work on. In most cases, you’re waiting until Spring Training rolls around to get anything more than a recap of the previous season. It’s more about the players touching base with one another and getting some work in a much warmer climate. It’s not the equivalent of skipping out on a few days of Spring Training. For that reason, I can’t get upset at all about Alvarez not being here. Looking at the expected 25-man roster, he’s in the very large majority of players who stayed home. And the reason they stayed home was because there is nothing significant that takes place at mini camp.

Links and Notes

**The top 20 prospects countdown started last week. It will resume next Monday, after mini-camp is complete. The full top 20, along with the rest of the top 50 and all 200+ profiles of Pirates’ minor league players, can be found in the 2015 Prospect Guide, which can be purchased on the products page of the site.

**Pirates Announce 2015 Minor League Coaching Staffs

**VIDEO: Josh Bell and Austin Meadows Taking Batting Practice

**Buster Olney Ranks the Pirates Among the Best Defensive Teams

  • Love that Pedro is concerned over 400k after what he did last year. No leverage. I guess he does have confidence though

  • Cervelli may be busy trying to find a new PED supplier.

    • I sure as hell hope so.

    • Dude, you ever gonna let that go? He served his time. This article isn’t even about him and you trotted him and his PED issue out. Is there something personal between the two of you?

      • The article mentioned he was not in mini camp.

        PED users should never be forgotten or forgiven, they are a blight on the game.

        • His name was mentioned in the article? Seriously? That’s your excuse? Cripes– I’m sure the letters that spell out your name appear in there somewhere. I guess it’s not too much of a stretch to post about every traffic offense you ever committed or whatever because of that?

          Would you like it if everything you ever did wrong in your life were never forgiven or forgotten? Not only that, but it’s trotted out on the flimsiest of excuses because of someone’s outta-whack hatred about what you did? Seriously: it ain’t like he committed genocide; might be time to let this one go, dude.

          • He was mentioned as one of those not attending.

            If I violated the laws or rules my profession I would never be allowed to continue. I accept and embrace this.

            • The rules of his profession dictate the sanction. The sanction was suspension. He served it. It’s done. I’ve no idea why you wanna nurse this grudge of yours, but the rest of his profession has presumably spoken– seeing as how he hasn’t been beaned at the plate a bunch of times or anything.

              • Yes he served his suspension but that doe not mean he has a clean slate. Even if Cervelli wasn’t a cheat there are still serious concerns about his ability to be a positive contributor to this or any other team. It should be of great concern to all Pirate fans that the starting catcher position has apparently been given to an unproven player. Cervelli has as of yet not proven he is a starting catcher. Not in MLB or the higher levels of the minor leagues. I hope he stays clean and performs well for the sake of the team. I have my doubts due to his record, inability to stay healthy, and the obvious character issue.

  • I hardly think Pedro is worthless, I wouldn’t make that sort of blanket statement. However my “perception”, which can be wrong or right I doubt any of us truly knows, though Tim has the best chance, is that he is not maximizing his value to the Pirates. Are most of the starters there no, but are most of the players learning a new position…no, are most of the players coming off a year where they were benched because they couldn’t throw a baseball straight…no. And let’s face it time is running out on Pedro in the Burgh. Can they keep him two years max and get a comp pick for him yes. But admit it he is gone after two years and my “impression” is he is biding his time until he leaves. Maybe Boris tells him stay away but darn he has not done very little extra that the Pirates have asked him to do. Maybe I am totally wrong, you know what they say about opinions. I just wish he would do a little more.

  • lonleylibertarian
    January 16, 2015 1:18 pm

    Love the “Pedro is worthless” crap – some facts
    For the past three years in the NL

    Giancarlo Stanton 98
    Pedro 84
    Jay Bruce 82
    Adam Larouche 79
    Cutch 77

    Neil Walker 53 [ranks 28th]

    Matt Holiday 286
    Freddie Freeman 281
    Hunter Pence 277
    Paul Goldschmidt 276
    Jay Bruce 274
    Buster Posey 263
    Cutch 263

    Pedro 241 [Ranks 11th]
    Wlaker [198 [29th]

    Power is a rare commodity and worth being patient for – or risk another Jose Bautista…

    I know there is a local columnist who likes to generate page views by bashing Pedro at every opportunity – and even has put out the idea that “nobody wants Pedro” – but certainly 90% of AL GMs would be interested in buying low on him…

    Many folks get all caught up in his “lack of emotion” – “he never smiles” – does not seem to care…

    I could care less – he is productive when he plays – he has produced a lot – maybe it is time for some of his critics to look at how reasonable they are in their expectations.

    He is a good athlete – playing first base is not particularly difficult – he has all of Spring Training to get game experience at the position.

    I am hoping he stops the “hit the ball to all fields” crap the Bucs wanted him to work on last year and pounds the heck out of the Clemente wall – 40+ homers and 4 to 6 in the river would be nice

    • Looking at some of those RBI numbers.

      Player: Base Runners / Base Runners Scored / Percentage.
      Holliday: 1269 / 226 / 18.2%
      Freeman: 1240 / 226 / 18.2%
      Pence: 1039 / 171 / 16.4%
      Goldschmidt: 1092 / 212 / 19.4%
      Bruce: 1259 / 196 / 15.6%
      Posey: 1209 / 171 / 17.2%
      McCutchen 1161 / 190 16.3%

      Pedro 1139 / 163 / 14.3%
      Walker: 958 / 148 / 15.4%

      If Alvarez adjusts and finds a way to get back to hitting 10-15% better than league average the Pirates will have a solid contributor, but I don’t think he is ever going to be a lineup anchor.

  • Quantity and quality, solid comment section, well spent three minutes.

    • And an excellent contribution from Andrew. Thank you Andrew. And thank your parents for raising such a polite young man. When you see them on visiting day I mean.

      • Tetrapharmakos
        January 16, 2015 1:56 pm
        • Royals made it to Game 7 of the World Series & only lost by 1 run because of Madison Bumgarner, not because of the opposing team hitting home runs. How’s that for an argument. Not bad for Willy Wonka.


            • That’s actually pretty funny.

              As a small market team, to remain competitive (from a financial standpoint), I’m sure he realizes that he can’t afford the more desirable power hitters that fill stadiums with fans. He has to rely on winning ball games to do that.

              Or he has to do with the Mets are doing…keep bringing fences in. Or build a very small ball park like Cincinnati is done ( looks ridiculous to me… Like a little league park. The Home Run Derby there next year for the All Star game should be insane. )

              hey guys, I’m getting better. I didn’t make fun of anyone or mention Moneyball. Oh wait, I just did. But I didn’t mention the movie with Brad Pitt. I haven’t even seen the movie. I just read the book.

  • IMO, it does not matter whether Alvarez goes to camp or not, 4 days of tossing a ball around for a 1/2 to 1 hr is not camp to me, he probably is working a lot harder at Vandy. As far as who cares, more than likely no one that matters. IMO, Hart can’t play 1st base and Alvarez has not proven that he can either, in my book that leaves no one. Alvarez could develop into a decent 1st baseman, but a team that is contending and still experimenting with players that are marginal at best, IMO is a bad mistake.

    • Are you talking about the Cardinals or the Pirates ? Because I see a marginal first baseman and outside of Wainwright and Lynn, quite a few ifs and maybes in that rotation. No ” experimenting” there in St. Louis ! No sirree ….

      • The post was not about St.Louis, it was about Pit. Since you brought it up, St.Louis has a far better 1st base situation than the Pirates do, I’ll take Adams and Reynolds any day of the week, both of them can play 1st base, over Alvarez and Hart, neither of which can play 1st base as far as we know. I see no experiment with the Cards at 1st base and true they have Wainwright and Lynn, but the other pitchers they have are not experiments, Lacky, Wacha experiments? Which one of these guys are experiments- Lacky, Wacha, Reynolds or Adams? Experiments defined for my post are players playing a different position. I know Hart has played 1st base, or should I say he stood over there.

        • Wacha hasnt had to, or made it, an entire season yet. Him getting into the long days of September will be an experiment. Also, Martinez is a total question mark at this point. So that rotation actually matches up to ours about even, with them having a more proven ace (though some have pointed to his innings total and speculated he cant throw 200 innings going forward). Reynolds isnt an experiment, you know what he is….not great. Ton of Ks, decent power. He is a worse option than Pedro right now, because when he isnt hitting a HR he is almost always out. .220 type hitter that has seen low 20s power 3 years running.

          STL has as many questions as PIT does going into the year, and likely a worse bench.

  • Think about this. Pedro Alvarez comes out like a house on fire like he did last year. Do you trade him or try to ride him out the full year, with how last year ended in the back of your head?

    • 3 reasons NOT to trade.
      Jose Bautista
      A. Ramirez
      Jason Grilli traded for “what’s his name”

      • 1 reason to trade if he performs: sell “high” on an expiring contract in 2016

        • With his inconsistent MLB history, it will take more than one year of good play for him to either get a good contract from Pittsburgh or to be worth anything on the trading block. I think his agent knows that also.

          Just my opinion. That and $5 will get you one of those fancy coffees at Starbucks.

          • yeah i know what your saying its really is a tough situation

          • Also don’t think the Pirates should be spending much on 1B, in general. If they have they room, sure, go for it. But make sure up-the-middle positions are taken care of first.

          • Don’t worry about Pedro and contracts with Pittsburgh. He will never sign a contract beyond his arbitration years with the Pirates.

      • Ramirez I don’t understand, he was not moved because of bad performance, the other 2 were. Players have to perform when they are under contract with a certain team if they don’t, they go, if they do well someplace else that is on them, not on the team that let them go.

        • Jason really was hurt and they were impatient. He wrote a book and released it in the middle of the season (with auto signings) and they were not happy with that either. “A distraction.”

          we could have used jason down the stretch and we were left with a largely ineffective bullpen. Now the Braves get a quality closer, and we rraded the future 4 a set-up man, BAUTISTA.

          • Based on Grilli’s comments with the Angles I think Grilli would have been a distraction if the Pirates had attempted to move him into a lesser role similar to the one he occupied in Anaheim.

            Grilli blew four saves in 20 innings with the Pirates, the Pirates bullpen only 1 in 72 innings in September.

            • Monsoon Harvard
              January 16, 2015 1:56 pm

              Grilli began to suck, and he was a nut job. The only thing wrong about the Grilli trade was that Huntington dealt him for such a useless piece. He should have waited and gotten something better.

            • Still ignoring you

              • But are you sticking out your tongue and putting your fingers in your ears at the same time?

          • I would not be so sure the Braves got a quality closer, he won’t be used in that role with the Braves, I do believe the Bucs should have made more of an effort to use Grilli in more non leverage situations before they decided to part with him, the Pirates IMO made the same mistake with Morris. Hurdle IMO, did not grasp the difference in leverage situations per pitcher. Morris just was not ready yet for high leverage situations and the Marlins did not use him in those situations right away.

      • Tetrapharmakos
        January 16, 2015 1:43 pm

        ♬One of these things is not like the others♬
        ♬One of theses things just doesn’t belong♬

    • Last year, with exception of the injury, was going along like most of Alvarez’s years, he only has two good years with the Pirates since he was drafted and in both of them he struck out 180 and 186 times, with 30 and 36hrs. I would trade him now, next week or any time in the future, if he hits a few Hrs. the Pirates might get a little more for him, but his hot ticket is a real gamble. We all have something we like in baseball, too most it is the long ball, to me it is defense and timely hitting, the two things Alvarez is not very good at.

      • I think people forget that offensively he was on pace for 25+ and his K rate was down and Walk was up. His biggest issue was 3b not at the plate

        • I agree that he might have hit 25 hrs, but he also struck out 95 times, I don’t know what that projects to. He had 43 walks and only 49 RBI. With runners in scoring position he hit .202 and struck out 39 times. The long ball is not enough for me to like this guy.
          What I am doing is looking at the whole picture, not the Hrs. alone and trading partners will look at the whole picture when it comes to what they will give up for him, because he is going to be traded somewhere along the line, possibly even the end of the season.

        • The concern is that the increase in walks and decrease in K rate seems more to do with the way Alvarez was pitched more than some underlying change in swing rates or contact.

          • Help me out with this one again…why does that matter?

            Are you insinuating that the systematic change in how he was pitched was a league-wide fluke?

            • The idea is that lower K rate and BB rate are evidence of improvement in approach, but there isn’t really any significant change in his plate discipline numbers, if fact 2014 looks pretty much like 2012.

              What has changed in the rate of in zone pitches and percentage of fastballs, so the end result is an Alvarez who walks more, strikes out less, but produces a .173 ISO and the worst overall hitting line of his career (ignoring 2011.)

              • Ah, you’re assuming the drop in power was directly proportionate to the manner in which he pitched, and will not regress. That changes things, sure.


                • Should have initially said my concern, which is how productive can Alvarez be seeing off-speed and breaking pitches.

      • Pedro Alvarez has been in the big leagues for parts of five seasons.

        He’s been 3%-14% better than the average hitter in four out of five of those seasons.


  • It’s a long season. I would be more concerned if everyone was already in camp. Baseball season is a marathon and not a sprint. Mini camp, Spring Training, then a 162 game regular season, then hopefully a long run in the playoffs. That’s a lot of baseball. I am sure that the players kept in shape over the winter. I think the reason that the Pirates made a point of having a strong bench this year is to give certain players more of a rest during the season to hopefully eliminate any long losing streaks. Think like Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs. they make a point of no player having too many minutes over the course of the season, keeping them fresher for a hard playoff run. I won’t be surprised to see more of a rotation through the infield and outfield now that we have a legitimate bench.
    Call me a home if you want, but I believe that the Pirates are the team to beat in the NL Central this year. I actually don’t even think it will be close. This team reminds of the early 90’s Pirates after a few years of trying to catch the Mets in the late 80’s. They are young, talented, and hungry. I think 94-95 wins will send us to the division title. I can’t wait for Spring Training this year, not only to get out of this miserable cold weather, but to watch one of the best teams in baseball.

  • If Pedro has the start he had last year I would immediately look to move him. He is a virus to this team, poor work effort on the field, believes it will all fall on his lap. This isnt college ball anymore, you have to work. Ask Jhay. There is a difference between working out and putting work in. Working out is exercise, staying in shape (his is round), putting work in is going everyday and trying to better yourself because you believe you need to be better. He does not have this demeanor. He is a joke to Pittsburgh, who loves the hard working scrappy guy. Stick up for him all you want, but its time for him to grow up and understand what it takes to be a professional baseball player.

    • Pure ignorance. Well done, sir.

      • explain

        • You have no idea what his teammates think of him, you have no idea about the level of his work ethic, nor his level of entitlement, and you don’t even know enough about baseball to understand what “working out” means in this context.

          • NMR : Your reply was really more intelligent than mine. Sometimes I just can’t get past a certain level of ignorance without swinging back.

            • I particularly find the whole “stop defending Pedro” thing the best. As if we’re personal friends or something.

              Pedro could’ve spent his winter in the Dominican, lived in Kevin Young’s basement with a 1B mitt duct taped to his left hand, washed every guys jock in mini camp and guess who would give absolutely zero sh!ts if he doesn’t hit and field better in 2015: ME.

              • Just wish he had that attitude. If he acted like he cared as much as you do he would live up to the #2 overall pick, instead he thinks it will come naturally. Seriously thought could you see him on coney island 4th of july hot contest soon? I couldnt he probably be bro-ing out at college

                • Monsoon Harvard
                  January 16, 2015 10:22 am

                  I’ve watched Pedro since he first arrived and I’ve never thought that he doesn’t work hard or he doesn’t care.
                  Some folks don’t telegraph every emotion or mindset.

                  Just because he seems quiet and is not emotional or dramatic doesn’t mean he doesn’t care or work hard. I fully believe Pedro is a good teammate who cares greatly about winning and doing the best he can, no matter what you or any other detractor says.

                • If that’s what driving your criticism, you need to realize it’s your wishes and your problem– not Alvarez’s.
                  Oh, and as my Dad used to say: Wish in one hand and crap in the other; see which one fills up first.

                • Monsoon Harvard
                  January 16, 2015 10:37 am

                  People who “act like they care” are not necessarily caring. I’ll take someone who actually cares. I prefer substance to symbolism. Actual ‘truth’ rather than simply an ‘image of truth’.

                  • lonleylibertarian
                    January 16, 2015 1:56 pm

                    There was a great article last summer in New York Daily News that talked about the media in NY loving Ike Davis – he was always ready to talk – smiled a lot – was by all accounts a great guy and a great team mate – the media WANTED him to be the winner of competition for 1st base. Duda on the other hand was kinda surly – not an easy interview – never smiled and “didn’t seem to care” – they hated him and lobbied hard for Davis to get the nod.

                    Well guess what – they were WRONG!
                    Duda 3.0 WAR
                    Davis 0.3 WAR

                • So what is “acting like you care”? If its showing up the these mini camps, this whole team doesnt care. If its showing emotion when things go poorly for him, thats really stupid. Pedro get criticized because he doesnt show intense emotion, has long stretches of good play and bad play (inconsistent) and fans love to dislike him. Most of the hate stems from fans seeing him K and not get visibly upset…..THAT CAN BE A GOOD THING. Give me more players that dont react to every thing that happens in a long game.

              • What really makes me laugh is how clowns like that think they are the only one who has a personal insight into Alvarez, or any player for that matter.

          • neither do you thought…its my simple observation that I make. I have played sports all my life, wrestled and played baseball i do know the difference. Once again sign me up for 5 mil in arb this year so i can hangout at college

            • lol when everyone acts like they know what its like to play big league baseball. You both are dumb. On one hand he obviously is working out at Vandy, on the other hand Pedro needs to mature

            • The troll is strong in this one.

              Have a nice day.

            • Ah, well good to know you playing all those sports made you a better sports psychologist. Im sure no one else on this board played sports through their 20s or played baseball.

    • Are you really that stupid ? Or just pretending ?

      • its ignorant that he accepts a pay check from the Pirates. I wish I could mope around the field all season, hang out at college, etc

        • I agree with you N Cap. So far this offseason the Pirates asked Pedro to play winter ball and he said no. They asked him to come to mini camp and he said no. Now everyone hear is OK if he thumbs his nose at management but quite frankly I agree with you that its a bad sign. he may have a geat season next year for all I know but I wouldn’t count in it. I can’t wait until he is gone.

  • Why does it matter? Because year in and year out we hear the Pirate’s FO ask Pedro to play winter ball and he doesnt. If I am at work and my boss asks me to do something I do it or I am fired. I am fine with him working out in Vandy and I am fine with him not going to winter work outs, but lets not make excuses for him either. He thinks all he has to do is show up and it will be handed to him.

    • Then your boss isn’t asking you if you get fired for not doing it. He is making it a condition of your employment, which is a hell of a lot different than asking you to do it.

    • If Pedro Alvarez had gone to play winter ball in 2011 and then went on to produce 12% better than league average with 66 HR over the next two seasons you can GUARANTEE that folks like you would claim winter ball was the reason for success.

      But he didn’t. He stayed in the United States of America, where I hear there are places you can practice baseball in the winter. Amazing concept, I know.

      However, that doesn’t fit the narrative of the fat, lazy brown guy who wears his hat “disrespectfully” and doesn’t smile enough, which logically means he doesn’t care about baseball.

      • yeah its called game competition. I can sit there and take grounders all day off a fungo and hit the jug machine, but there is nothing better then live action

        • Absolutely false. Game action is the WORST place to work on skill development.

          Human nature is for change to feel uncomfortable. When a player attempts to change a skill while still competing, the bodies natural reaction is to revert to prior mechanics. This is the reason prospects aren’t rushed through the minor leagues.

        • Game action is actually a bad place to work on individual parts of a players game, as NMR said. When wanting to focus on specific parts of a players skill, practice must come first.

    • Tetrapharmakos
      January 16, 2015 10:16 am


      • Dude I dont think hes talking about the 4 day workouts, hes talking in general over the last few years.

        • Tetrapharmakos
          January 16, 2015 10:20 am

          Well, you tell me when he didn’t report to a mandatory team activity and then we can discuss, otherwise, I am going to go ahead and assume that we are talking about voluntary activities, or in other words, things that he is not obligated to do.

          • Ah i see your point. You know what I like people who volunteer around the community and what not. Typically people who volunteer to do things get positive things out of it and look good to their peers

            • Tetrapharmakos
              January 16, 2015 10:56 am

              Yeah, the thing is, we aren’t talking about communtiy service. This is the MLB equivalent of taking part in the “Biggest Loser” competition at the office, so your moralizing strikes me as a bit strained.

            • If Pedro not showing up is terrible, someone tell over half the team they arent loving the game and dont care enough about their craft. I’d love to see someone get a group of these players together and tell Pedro what you are continuing to spew on here. You would get Cutch and Walker laughing you off and telling how much Pedro cares about his job.

  • Also I spoke briefly to Taillon and he said he feels like he has a brand new arm. Great news!

  • Pedro is working out at Vanderbilt with 10 or 12 other former Commodore players. I was at Pirate City yesterday and I can tell you that it is the most laid back workout that you can imagine. I watched Lambo take grounders at !st base and it was the most basic of sessions. So relax everyone because Pedro isn’t missing anything! And Tim, keep up the good work!

    • That is good to hear. Vandy has a great coach and staff and complex. My cousin played there for three years. Actually left the year before Pedro got there. Maybe Pedro is going back to Vandy to relax and get that feel he had back when he was there destroying SEC pitching.

  • i was hoping this article would be two words.

    “It’s VOLUNTARY”

    that would have been good for a giggle, ya know?

  • Monsoon Harvard
    January 16, 2015 6:59 am

    The real question is who is the douche bag reporter or writer who made a big deal about this (Pedro not being here) in the first place?
    This person was trying to make trouble where there is none.

    • Pretty much all of the Pittsburgh media hates Pedro. They look for any reason to bash him.

      • Monsoon Harvard
        January 16, 2015 9:48 am

        Yeah, I guess you are right.
        I still wish we could single out the culprits behind this particular accusation against Pedro and expose them and take them to task.

      • I don’t so much think they personally hate him as they know what’ll get the clicks.

        If mini camp were so important, then there’d be content regarding what actually goes on there to write about. Instead, you get clickbait about who is not there.

    • Guys who have never once put in the effort Tim has to actually see what happens at mini camp.

    • His last name might rhyme with Biertemple. His headline in the TR the other day kind of set it off…..again.

  • I also have to add that most established mlb players are sitting on a beach in Barbados or somewhere similar this time of year. As for me I prefer walt disney worlds beaches, they are clean and there is not some guy who smells like fish trying to sell me t-shirts with greasy fingerprints on them for a couple of bucks. ( yes that has happened to me )

    • Have you been to Barbados? Nothing close to what you describe.

      • Anton Pasquill
        January 16, 2015 9:42 am

        Yeah, I’m literally sitting on a beach in Barbados right now and it’s one of the calmer Lesser Antilles as long as you’re away from resorts. I concur.

  • I don’t really care that pedro is not at mini camp. What i do care about and see happening one of three ways is this. 1) pedro flops and is on the dfi list 2) pedro hits well enough to re-establish some value and is traded for a decent prospect. 3) pedro finally puts it all together and hits like his hype suggests and is traded for mlb or close to it talent. Love him or hate him pedro is not long for the burgh either way, if he hits great he prices himself out of the pirates market and they have no choice but to trade high on him, if he hits decent there a a ton of guys just like that who are cheaper, and if he stinks why keep him. Why if he hits great do they have no chance to sign him and have to trade him you ask, it’s simple just go look up who his agent is.

  • I absolutely concur. People get this idea that Pedro is lazy or not serious about improving because of his early struggles and his 2014 struggles because of not playing winter ball or going to mini camps. I’m 100% positive Pedro works all off season on a lot of things. Just because he isn’t seen doing things to improve his game doesn’t mean he isn’t Nobody saw him do anything in the two off season’s before he hit 31 and 36 Homers. He came in camp in better shape each of the last 3 season. He has his own routine he feels comfortable with. Let him be..

    • For a saber oriented site, there sure is an obsession with Pedro’s homers as a justification of his value. Not just you and others; now Tim is doing it too.

      • I agree. Pedro will show his value. Lets NOT unload him and have another Jose Bautista / A. Ramirez situation here just because fans are impatient.

        HR are overrated.

        • Monsoon Harvard
          January 16, 2015 9:38 am

          It’s fun for big kids too.

          • A “maufactured run” = “home run” is my point is all. I appreciate Pedro’s 450 foot home runs too. Just like I love seeing three strike outs in the ninth inning, with all of Jason Grilli fist pumping and everything. But at the same time if Mark Melancon can do it low key with ground balls, I’m just as happy.

            I’m not a kid anymore is what I’m saying. That’s all. I’d rather watch them in the World Series then pump out home runs and strikeouts and sit at home in October. No you have to give me a thumbs up on that one. EVERYONE?

            • While i agree that home runs are overrated, you seem like your point is more that they have insignificant value? The thing about manufacturing a run is the dependency on players around you to do their job.. we can’t even lay down a successful bunt, lol… in tight pitchers duels, which is a significant number of our games, there’s value in having a guy at the plate who can score a run with bases empty.. again, home runs are definitely overrated/hyped, but not to the point where they’re insignificant.. not everyone is joey votto at the plate

          • Agree 100%. I get up spontaneously out of my seat for a HR, and not much else.

        • HR are overrated when you do other things offensively and defensively. Pedro does not. He needs to hit a bunch with his current other production to be of major use. Think of other true sluggers like Mark McGwire…if he didn’t hit homeruns what would he have been? Pedro did walk more last year and strikeout less so hopefully that is groundwork and a sign of more improvement to come. But I am skeptical. But even if he hits the elusive (For him) .260, walks 60 times, hits 25 2B, and is slightly above average defensively. He still needs to hit 25+ HR to justify keeping him because there is always the threat he will regress to the .235 very high strikeout, mediocre to average walk guy he is right now.

          • So you’re saying that if a player doesn’t do something he does well, he won’t be as good of a player?

            Heady stuff, man.

            • Ha! Yeah. Exactly. I am mostly saying if he doesn’t do the ONLY thing he does well. Sluggers are a special case. If someone like Neil Walker doesn’t hit 20 HR like last year he still does enough to make him useful. Pedro hasn’t proved to be able to do that. I thought it was implied.

              • And that has nothing to do with how inherently valuable home runs are, which I thought was the topic you were responding to.

        • I agree HR can be overrated depending what lineup you put a guy like Pedro into. I think with this lineup there is a lack of power. Although I think this is Marte’s breakout year and I think he hits 20-25 Hrs . But Neil Walker is our cleanup hitter. The most Hr’s he’s going to hit is 23 like he did last year. But this Pirate lineup is going to hit for a high average. Every one of the starters besides Alvarez are capable of hitting 275+. NH has built a team that is capable of leading the NL in hitting. It can’t be a bad thing to put 30+ Hr’s in the middle of 7 guys who hit might hit above the league average.

          • I think this is walkers last year. They’re replacing him with Kang, or is it Konos, one of those aliens from The Simpson’s Tree House of Horror. Kang has more power then Walker, which should please most people who are contributing to this thread. To me it doesn’t matter one way or the other, I’m just saying that power hitting is overvalued compared to other forms of hitting. It’s six of one half dozen of another. I don’t care how you get your bases, just get your basis and produce RUNS. And I am going to agree with Billy Beane from Moneyball. I don’t care about defense. Unless you make an error every fourth game, defense isn’t that important. It can be largely ignored when looking at a player. We don’t need a defensive metric. Really.

            • Is this dude serious? You’re seriously trolling us with all this Moneyball stuff. Well done.

              • Kang is a cheap power hitting second baseman. Walker is going to arbitration. You do the math. And you don’t need a complex formula or a computer for that one.

                And whoever said I’m a dude. Lots of assumptions going on here.

                • Home runs matter in the postseason. Shorter series put a premium on easy runs and big innings. Since we plan on going back to the postseason, we might want to have a few in the lineup.

                  • Actually in the postseason, it’s colder. The air is denser. It is harder to hit home runs. Therefore power hitters that hit home runs would be less valuable, not more valuable in the postseason. Your argument is deeply flawed my friend.

                    That’s why home runs are fewer in April and September every year. Consistently.

                  • I was just thinking. Every series during the season is short; 3,4,5 games at most. NLCS & WS are LONGER series at 7 games, therefore we would need FEWER power hitters not more using your logic.

      • I don’t think it’s a justification as you say. I think that just is his value. And while we all probably agree to some extent that HRs aren’t the be all end all stat, there is some value in them. I’d never want a team of three-outcome guys, but having one in the middle of your lineup somewhere and protected by better all around players isn’t a bad thing. And this isn’t saying much, but last year he did take steps towards walking more and striking out less. If he does that, hits close to 30 HRs every year, and fields first base where he isn’t a liability, he will be an above average major leaguer into his 30s.

      • Stargell_Stars
        January 16, 2015 8:00 am

        It’s the only thing Pedro CAN offer.

      • Maybe it would have been better if I would have said “is hitting for power” to also include the doubles. But as far as value, the majority of Pedro’s value is his ability to hit a lot of homers. That’s not putting a grand scale value on homers that can be applied to every player. It’s just pointing out the reality of one player.

        • The guys who reflexively downplay home runs every time they’re mentioned are the hipsters of sabermetrics. We get it, you guys have read a few articles on FanGraphs.

          Doesn’t mean that what Tim wrote up there even comes close to an “obsession with Pedro’s homers”.

          • If he hits 20 HR’S with at least 1 runner on. It will help create more wins then if he ads an extra 20 walks to his total. I don’t need a stat to get me to understand that.

          • I didn’t say Tim Williams was obsessed. The man has magnificent insight. But fans are obsessed. Homeruns sell tickets. Ask the New York Mets when they pull in their fences to sell more tickets. Ask the minor leagues why they don’t develop more sinker ball pitchers. (Fewer homeruns allowed).

            Did you realize the Pirates pitching staff allowed fewer home runs than almost any staff in baseball? Do you think the Pirates & Neil Huntington (King of Moneyball) are doing that accidentally? They designed a ballpark to hold the ball in. Another coincidence?

            • Well I wasn’t responding to what you said, so there’s that.

              Speaking of Neal Huntington, ya think he signed Kang because of his walk rate?

              • I believe he signed Kang because Konos was unavailable (one eyed aliens w clear domed helmets & tentacles from Simpsons Treehouse of Horror).

        • I agree with your point Tim. 2B are also valuable. They drive in runs. As long as you don’t only hit one every seven or eight games. You can see the stress in Pedro’s face when he’s pressing himself too hard. We have all seen it ruin players careers before. He just needs to be Pedro and play as Pedro can play. That’s all. Tony Sanchez doesn’t have that problem. (I know, I know).

          The major leagues are no longer new to Pedro. Pittsburgh is no longer new to Pedro. And Clint Hurdle appears to be a pussycat compared to most managers. If Pedro can’t make it in Pittsburgh, he can’t make it anywhere. I don’t know why Pedro didn’t see Indianapolis during 2014, but I’m sure there’s something to do with his time as a major leaguer. If Tim could fill us in…

          • Tetrapharmakos
            January 16, 2015 11:22 am

            For all of your Moneyballing you sure do fall into unquantifiable narrative pretty easily.

      • Monsoon Harvard
        January 16, 2015 9:39 am

        His homers DO justify his value.

      • Monsoon Harvard
        January 16, 2015 9:44 am

        You’ll still have stiffs like Ike Davis to give you a high OBP and walk a lot to get you your thrills, so don’t worry about it.
        You’ll get your thrills, I’ll get mine, and we can all be happy.

        • Read MONEYBALL and then get back to us. And take a graduate level course in statistics too. And maybe try to explain the Kansas City Royals success last year.

          Follow a team with all home run hitters, and I’ll watch my team in the World Series with a balanced lineup. Thank you. .

          • LOL at the Kansas City Royals having a “balanced lineup”.

            • My point was that the KC Royals do not have home run hitters yet were able to achieve great success against the American League and almost won the World Series, being stopped by Madison Bumgarner, not a team of home run hitters. And they took it to game 7, losing by only one run. Don’t give me that they were blown out by the Giants. Haven’t you read anything I’ve written. I don’t advocate for or against home run hitters, I merely state that they are not MORE desirable than other hitters. They are clearly overvalued by most casual baseball fans.

          • Monsoon Harvard
            January 16, 2015 10:46 am

            Your welcome.

          • Having the lowest number of walks and home runs in the AL is a balanced lineup ? It appears there is a lot of stupidity going on in this thread.

            • The lowest number of home runs is my point. They still were successful and came within one run of winning the World Series against a team that had Madison freakin Baumgartner. No one could have won against him last year. No one can debate that. No one. I don’t think Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth could have beaten him. Joe DiMaggio and Roger Maris. Reggie Jackson and Thurman Munson. Willie Stargell & Dave Parker.( sacrilege I know. Lol)

              • Talking like a total fool now. When did you start watching MLB ? 2000 ?

                • Talking like a total fool now. Sounds like something out of rules for radicals by Saul Alinsky. Lol.

                  I’ve been watching baseball since probably before you were born. So I don’t like that attitude. Home runs don’t win baseball games obviously. Many teams have won without power hitters. Do your research. Then get back to me and we can have a reasonable conversation.

                  For the record, I started watching baseball with my uncle in 1970. & I do remember roberto clemente spleen crash. I remember crying as a little kid. So to me baseball is more than wins and losses, more than numbers on a spreadsheet. It’s about the players, the field, and the fans. It’s about having fun at the ballpark. So let’s lighten up everyone.

                  • I will give you a little history lesson Junior. The first Pirate star I saw in Forbes Field was Ralph Kiner. As far as you and I having what you call ” a reasonable conversation “, that isn’t going to happen. You come off like a total idiot lecturing me and others here, and you think I am going to take you seriously ? Go back to college and take a class in reading comprehension, then think over what you want to say.

                    • At least I’m a junior idiot. I wouldn’t want to be a senior idiot.

                      This so-called idiot went to medical school at University of Pittsburgh, a top 20 medical school, and graduated with honors. I did sports medicine while there, working with professional and high level college athletes. I would gather from your level of arrogance and you’re either a high school coach or a sports writer of some type. Correct? Most definitely a failed athlete of some type.

                      I am NOT lecturing anyone. I’m pointing out that home runs are not significantly more valuable than someone that is a high average hitter. But they are more attractive to clubs because they draw in fans. My argument was that simple. I do not believe that they win more games. It’s an opinion. If you can counter up with a reasonable argument, backing it up with facts, do so.

                      But simply calling me names to discredit what I’m saying is not reasonable and really reflects poorly upon yourself.

                      And remember you brought up the age thing, asking if I begin watching baseball in 2000. I replied that I begin watching baseball in 1970 with Roberto Clemente. Then you turn around and say that you started watching baseball with Ralph Kiner, implying that I was trying to one up you by bringing age into the discussion or something. That’s pathetic. Stop baiting people. That is a standard bullying technique and I will not put up with that in this or any other online forum. Life is too short to be bullied by someone.

                      And if I make typing mistakes, I am disabled from my service in the US Army Medical Corps. I rely on voice recognition. I apologize for typos that may be distracting. And if I recall a date incorrectly, I do have mild traumatic brain injury from what I happened during my service. So please try to be somewhat patient with me. Just point out my mistake.

                    • You can disparage me as a ” failed athlete ” if you must, fine by me.But none of that imposing educational and business background seems to have helped you formulate any idea about professional baseball and how it works. But, giving you the benefit of doubt, I will be patient with you….. by ending the ” discussion “.

                    • Thank you for your service sir

          • Tetrapharmakos
            January 16, 2015 11:07 am

            wOBA = (0.690×uBB + 0.722×HBP + 0.888×1B + 1.271×2B + 1.616×3B +
            2.101×HR) / (AB + BB – IBB + SF + HBP)

            You might note that aesthetics aside, HRs are in fact valuable. Pricey on the free agent market to be sure, but we aren’t talking about a free agent. So just to point out the obvious: I’d rather have a HR than a BB.

          • Monsoon Harvard
            January 16, 2015 11:09 am

            I have read Moneyball and I often pull it out to read when I can’t sleep and want to read some theoretic drivel to make me tired.

            Who says anything about a team with all home run hitters? How Straw Man can you get?

            A balanced lineup needs 3 or 4 extra-base hitters.

            • Says who? A balanced lineup needs three or four extra base hitters? Can you support that statement or are you just going to use circular reasoning. See I went to college and learned all about logical fallacies too.

              How many extra base hitters did the Kansas City Royals have last year? Just curious? Have you ever watch Japanese baseball? A lot of small ball over there. Just saying. (Now that’s condescending kids.)

              we’re all taking this way too serious people. Lighten up and enjoy baseball. It’s a game after all.

              • Monsoon Harvard
                January 16, 2015 12:15 pm

                I could have sworn SF Giants won the world series. Who the heck are the Kansas City Royals?
                and yes, I have watch Japanese baseball. So that is your argument for winning. Frankly, it’s not very convincing.

                You can take your OBP and walks, and I’ll take my extra base hitters who drive in runs, and we can enjoy our baseball peacefully.

          • Monsoon Harvard
            January 16, 2015 12:00 pm

            Ha ha ha, and you’re the one who was complaining to NMR about a condescending reply?

            • Yeah…I need to work on that. Thanks.

              • But he or someone else could answer my question. I’m serious. Why does a lineup need a long ball hitter. Or a power hitter. Or why does a question need to and with a?

                • Monsoon Harvard
                  January 16, 2015 12:19 pm

                  Because the team with more runs wins the game.

                • Because sequencing.

                  We know that the hypothetical situation of a team comprised of players who don’t get out won’t ever actually occur. So once you insert real-world players into the lineup the chances of scoring a run are compounded by the percentages those players get on base. Without extra base hits, more events in the sequence have to align in order to produce a run, exponentially decreasing the chances of that happening.

                • Ever think about why Ike Davis, with a 15% BB rate and >.340 OBP, didn’t make the bottom of the order any more productive?

                  Because his production was disproportionately made up of walk. Too often he required the hitters behind him, usually Jordy Mercer (who hasn’t hit RHP) and the pitcher’s spot to also sequence positive events in order to produce a run.

                  Sequencing is correctly discounted when looking at macro trends and projections, but it absolutely matters in smaller samples.

                  • Very good post. Since Moneyball, OBP is overrated, and mostly overpriced. If Davis could run well enough to hit #2 in the lineup his OBP would be very valuable. As a bottom of the order hitter in the DHless NL, he’s not that effective.

                    Beane will get much more value out of him in Oakland because of the DH. It makes a huge difference in terms of OBP value.

                  • You are starting to get into the territory of confusing this guy ( who went to college too ! ) with way too much logic. Of course, he watches Japanese baseball too. Impressive !

              • It’s partly the fault of the commenting format. If we were sitting at the bar having a cold one, I’m positive you’d infer from my tone that no – ok, very little – condescension was intended.

      • Tetrapharmakos
        January 16, 2015 10:13 am

        Well, were else would you expect a high-K, low-OBP, 1st baseman to derive his value? If Pedro hits 30+ HRs, then he is a useful player. If he does not, then he is not. It really is as simple as that.

    • Pedro doesn’t learn to play first base, my guess is he will be traded to the AL and become a fantastic DH. But to get full value, one would have to establish him as a severe home run threat. Even though the Pirates recognize home runa are not everything, not all teams understand that.

      Homeruns bring fans in the gate. Baseball is a business and it’s not just about winning people, it’s about how you win. Casual fans find 1 – 0 games boring.

      • Fantastic is a bold statement. Pedro has nearly 2300 plate appearances. He is not going to suddenly become David Ortiz with a few adjustments. I’d be happy with a mid career Adam Dunn at this point. He has had what amounts to 3 decent seasons, and two abysmal seasons. (I count last year as awful because he averaged an error every 4 games at 3B to go with a very mediocre .717 OPS.) Pedro is flawed and they just need to get all the value they can out of him until they develop/find a better replacement and move on…and hopefully he plays well enough that they can get a little in return for him.

        • I disagree. Players that put pressure on themselves can sabotage their career. When he learns to stop doing this, he will become a solid major league player. I believe they brought him up from the minor leagues to quickly. I don’t think Clint Hurdle would have allowed him to be brought up so quickly. Made the same mistake with Polanco I think. Hopefully it won’t kill Polanco’s career.

          • He has had success and then went back to failing. He played his best his first year. That has nothing to do with being brought up to quickly. Other teams like Detroit would have called him up even sooner. He dominated the SEC for 3 years ad was a mature kid. Agreed he probably puts too much pressure on himself. But he probably always has. I disagree on Polanco too. The Pirates needed a RF at the time and they had a toolsy kid hitting .330 at AAA at the time. Maybe history says he needed more time but that is hindsight. When your top prospect is trashing AAA at a position of need and you are in a pennant race, you call him up.

            • Its not hindsight. Clint Hurdle made a statement that players need at least 500 AB at each level. Then less than two weeks later they bring Polanco up with less than 250. Not hindsite. Ignoring your head coach to fill seats. Otherwise he would have been sent back down when the right fielder came off IR. Or Pedro could have been placed in RF. I’m sure he would not have made any more errors out there. Seriously.

              • Hurdle is just one voice in many voices that I’m sure went into calling up Polanco.

              • A 22 year old college hitter who was rated as the best power hitter in the draft should not require 500 plate appearances at each level. If you are projecting an age 25-26 debut you shouldn’t drafted said hitter in the first round.

                • You can’t make fun of people who are commenting, by stating the quality is low and that it only took 3 minutes to digest all of them and then expect them to reply to your comments. It doesn’t work that way.

                  So have a nice day.

                  • It is the internet if you cannot handle sarcasm log-off. Sorry, I tire of the hackneyed Pedro Alvarez discussion because it devolves into a political debate, where you have to occupy one of two extremes Alvarez as the next Jose Bautista, or he should be traded for middle relief. Bunker in and shout at each other or 120 comments.

                    • Why can’t conversation on the Internet be conducted in a civil manner, even among those who disagree, while eschewing sarcasm as the refuge of the weak of mind?

                    • Andrew is literally the most even mannered dude on this site, and without question one of the smartest.

                      Direct your “weak mind” garbage at someone who deserves it, like me.

                    • In piraddict’s defense, I left a fairly sardonic comment. I just find the Pedro debate worn-out, far
                      more interesting Pirates to discuss, but here I am anyway.

                    • This game is a curse and a blessing, my friend. 😉

                    • My question addressed your first sentence ” It is the internet if you cannot handle sarcasm log-off.”, not the details about Pedro, which are less interesting. You implied that sarcasm, and concomitant denigration of other particpants, is an unchangeable element of Internet conversation and that one must be willing to tolerate it if you want to participate. I disagree with that conclusion. Sarcasm is a choice by some participants, but there is no need for others to descend to the “lowest common denominator”. It may be possible to elevate the general tone of the conversation towards civility if a critical mass of participants choose a more civil tone and censure those who continue to take the “low road”. A sarcastic tone is only inevitable if people are unwilling to oppose it.

                • Take it up w Hurdle….you haven’t offended him…yet.

            • Well said

          • Or maybe he just can’t stand playing for Hurdle.

            • Is that total conjecture or is that based on something you’ve read or heard? I haven’t heard anyone say anything negative about Clint Hurdle as a coach. No one.

              Billy Martin he is not. Jim Harbaugh he is not.

              • If you believe that there isn’t 1 player on every team that’s not thrilled with their manager. Then your being extremely naive.

                • I didn’t say that the Pirates locker room was Camelot. I live in the real world. There are always problems between management and employees. But I just wondered why you thought Pedro in particular had a problem with Hurdle. It’s a potential explanation, want to have been considered, so you made a very good point. Maybe it was the hitting coach. For Gaby Sanchez? Or someone else like that? Ike Davis? That’s the same kind of blind speculation just like saying it is Hurdle.

                  • I’m just going by little comments he’s made in interviews about Hurdles decisions to drop him back lower in the order. “I don’t make those decisions, you have to ask him”. Has Clint talked to you about moving to 1st “I’m a 3rd baseman”

                    • O.K. I wasn’t aware of that. It does sound like he has a problem with Hurdle. He shouldn’t but it sounds like he does. It’s hard to keep up with the Pirates way down here in Charleston WV. This is Cincinnati Reds territory. We get coverage but not as much as you get in Pittsburgh area obviously. So we don’t get the more minor stories and interviews. We get root sports but sometimes don’t get the post game show for instance.

                      Thank you for the insight. I really wasn’t aware of that.

        • If you don’t like player you can find a flaw in any of them. Example: Cutch gets bad jumps on fly balls. He couldn’t break a window with his arm. He hasn’t produced in the playoffs. Does that mean Bucco’s should get rid of him?

      • A career 105 OPS+ hitter, without even including the DH penalty, is not likely to make a good DH.

    • I have been both whipped and agreed with on my many opinions on Pedro as he is always a lightning rod. I don’t think he is lazy but I just think he will be a guy who puts in his work, and is professional, polite, intelligent about his career and with the media. But he is not going to reach another level or play all winter to try to retool things, or be super intense, or an emotional leader. That is all fine. he is what he is. He will trudge along being better than a replacement player most years and someone will want him because of his power potential, maybe run into a few solid years, and then be out of the game at 33 or so when he gets his 10 in and starts to decline. There is nothing wrong with that…it’s just what I feel Pedro is.

      • He’s John Milner without the 2 grand slams in the same day basically.

        • Ha! Maybe. I think more along the lines of Jeff King who was the #1 pick. Except King could play 3B. I always talk about the game I was at and King hit 2HR, 2 Doubles off the wall, and 1 warning track out at the wall. Really, he just missed 5 HR. He had so much skill but always seemed out of place or almost despondent. He hit his 10 years and retired in the middle of May or June, basically giving up on his teammates in KC. I’m not saying Pedro is Jeff King, do’t get me wrong. Pedro, definitely seems like more of a team guy. I just think there is a lot more to him than baseball…and that’s how King was to an even more extreme.

          • Another thing with King is he was the first pick and offensively Baseball reference has him as most comparable statistically to Candy Maldanado. Pedro is most comparable to guys like Russ Davis, Willie Greene, and Butch Hobson. So they are both going to go down as high pick Pirates 3B that while they weren’t busts, they were hardly stars. Pedro and King also had one 30 HR season each which is interesting. They both teased us with their talent, and left us wishing they could have done more.

      • …and his wife is hot. I enjoy watching her help out with Pirates charities

    • My thought is Pedro not showing up at the most important time of his career tells you everything you need to know about the guy and where he is at with the Pirates. He is coming off an injury and is suppose to be learning a new position but he can’t find the time to come down and work on his craft. He is a kid that plays baseball for a living and quite frankly doesn’t love the game. I don’t want that type of player on my team. The moment we dropped him from the line up was the moment this team started to jell. He could be a talented player but he has a bad case of Borositis which means he has been told how great he is and he doesn’t believe he has to work at it any more. I wish another team thought he was any good because had one thought that I think the Bucs would have dumped him already. I expect him to have another lousy season and then complain that he isn’t at 3b. I actually expect that the Pirates will probably release him next year because his pay raise in arbitration will not be in line with what production we will likely see. Only at that time will Pedro consider that he isn’t nearly as good as he thinks he is.